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Department of Spatial Planning
Research project

SysKa - Integration of systemic criticality into disaster management planning

Project duration: 06/2021 to 11/2022

Project description

Critical infrastructure has received increasing attention in recent years. Due to events such as the power blackout in the Emsland, Germany in 2006, which led to emergency shutdowns throughout Europe, and most recently the flood disaster in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate in July 2021, with subsequent outages of electricity, water supply and mobile communications, the special supply function of critical infrastructure is becoming increasingly apparent. The critical infrastructure sectors do not only stand on their own (e.g. water supply/disposal, energy, health facilities), but are often interconnected and can thus be interdependent. 

The project SysKa – Integration of Systemic Criticality in Disaster Management Planning – is based on the cooperation of the IRPUD and the City of Bochum (Fire and Rescue Service; Municipal Crisis Management Unit) and contributes to the SIFOLife competition for the “Demonstration of Innovative, Networked Security Solutions”. 

The aim of the SysKa project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is on the one hand to work out protection goals for the critical infrastructure located in Bochum. In doing so, the simulation of cascade effects, due to the failure of one or more critical infrastructure facilities, enables a deeper understanding of the systemic dependencies among them. For this purpose, a scenario (e.g. power failure, heat wave, heavy rain event) will be selected and its impact on the critical infrastructure and possible cascading effects examined. In this way, the indirect effects of the scenario event on the population can be mapped. For this purpose, a target-performance analysis will be carried out, which is based on the expert knowledge of the actors on site and in which the existing vulnerabilities and dependencies of the critical infrastructure are examined. 
On the other hand, concrete security solutions are developed for the selected disaster scenario. These can be directly incorporated into the disaster management plan and the master plan “Security and Order” of the City of Bochum. 

In addition to the IRPUD and the city of Bochum as cooperation partners, the Stadtwerke Bochum, the Bochum-Gelsenkirchener Straßenbahnen AG (BoGeStrA) and the Regionalverband Ruhr (RVR) as well as the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) and the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) are involved in SysKa as associated partners. 

Funding programme

  • Forschung für die zivile Sicherheit (Research for Civil Society)
  • Announcement: „SifoLIFE – Demonstration innovativer, vernetzter Sicherheitslösungen“ („SifoLIFE – Demonstration of innovative, networked security solutions“)
  • Funding Organisation: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Bonn
  • Project Management Agency: VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH, Düsseldorf

Cooperation partners

  • Technische Universität Dortmund – Fakultät Raumplanung – Institut für Raumplanung (IRPUD), Dortmund
  • Stadt Bochum - Kommunales Krisenmanagement, Bochum

Associated partners

  • Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz und Katastrophenhilfe (BBK)
  • Bundesinstitut für Bau-, Stadt- und Raumforschung (BBSR)
  • Bochum-Gelsenkirchener Straßenbahnen Aktiengesellschaft (BOGESRA)
  • Stadtwerke Bochum Netz GmbH
  • Regionalverband Ruhr

Project Coordinator

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